Hikvision helped Chinese police track down protesters


Chinese police can set “alarms” for various protests using a software platform from video camera maker Hikvision. Writes about it The Guardian.

According to the publication, descriptions of the protest activity include “gathering of crowds to disturb order in public places”, “illegal assembly, procession, demonstration” and threats of “petition”.

Information about these features was found in the technical documentation available on the Hikvision website. Others also noted warnings of “religion” and spiritual movement. “Falun Gong”.

The white paper does not go into detail on exactly how these alarms work. At least nine types of notifications are associated with protests:

  • attack on government agencies;
  • subdivision violation [правоохранительных органов];
  • illegal assembly, procession, demonstration;
  • violation of order in public places;
  • obstructing the normal movement of vehicles;
  • violation of the traffic order;
  • riots in public transport;
  • mass looting;
  • the threat of petitions.

The document also illustrates the large amount of face data the company allows its customers to track. These include political status, religion and ethnicity, demographics, and physical characteristics such as hair, glasses, and clothing.

According to the researcher IPVM Charles Rolle, such methods of surveillance raise serious concerns about freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.

“Technically, these two rights are enshrined in the PRC constitution, but in reality, the government is very harsh in suppressing these freedoms. So I’m concerned about how technology can make it easier to track repressed groups,” he said.

After IPVM contacted the alarm company, “Falun Gong” and “religion” were removed from the website without any explanation.

Hikvision did not comment on the document or its contents.

Formerly FCC banned import and sale of the company’s future communications equipment in the country due to national security threats.

Recall that in December, journalists drew attention to the Hikvision brochure, which advertised ethnicity recognition technologies for European customers.

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